The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis


The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis Lena Dunham's Bookshelf
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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. Lydia Davis has invented a prose-writing genre entirely original - a form combining the precision and economy of poetry, the wry storytelling of short fiction, and a clear-eyed and surgical inquiry into the nature of existence itself. This volume collects the stories from Break It Down (1986); Almost No Memory (1997); Samuel Johnson Is Indignant (2001); and Varieties of Disturbance (2007, a National Book Award-winner. 733p.

Editorial Reviews

This collection marks the first publication of Davis's stories in one volume, including stories from two previous collections, the acclaimed Break It Down and Varieties of Disturbance. Davis's highly original voice ranges from tweetlike one-liners with title ("Index Entry Christian, I'm not a") to longer works of several pages. Many stories are first-person accounts of the narrator analyzing, or overanalyzing, some situation he or she is encountering, as if waking from a dream. As she writes in "Story," "I try to figure it out." Davis, unlike some writers of nontraditional fiction, doesn't take "stop making sense" as her personal motto. Her art lies in getting the reader to look at everyday situations from a new and different perspective. VERDICT This will be prized by those who are already fans of Davis's work and should also appeal to discerning readers of more plot-driven, conventional fiction ready for something challenging and thought-provoking.—Leslie Patterson, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, RI

[Page 55]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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